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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Mobile payments


A MobileLime's sign is seen on the entrance of Angora Cafe in Boston. MobileLime provides a new service designed to let you leave your wallet at home or at least some of the cards in it and instead use your cell phone to buy things.
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
A MobileLime's sign is seen on the entrance of Angora Cafe in Boston. MobileLime provides a new service designed to let you leave your wallet at home or at least some of the cards in it and instead use your cell phone to buy things. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
The Spokesman-Review

The logic is solid behind MobileLime, a new service designed to let you leave your wallet at home — or at least some of the cards in it — and instead use your cell phone to buy things.

Too bad the service, in testsaround town, didn’t seem quite ready for the mobile masses.

Once enrolled, you can use the Web site to spot coupons at participating merchants or track your progress in customer loyalty programs. For example, a store might give you $5 off when your cumulative spending there through MobileLime surpasses $75.

When you’re ready to buy something, you pull out the cell phone and call MobileLime. An automated voice greets you by name. You key in your four-digit PIN followed by the location code, a short number posted in the store. Then you give the cashier the last four digits of your cell number.

It’s pretty fast — though with all those steps it’s slower than cash, unless you begin the keypunching even before the clerk begins to tally your order.

But the fact remains that the process of calling and punching in codes is too cumbersome.

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